“May you never bear fruit again.” (Matthew 21:19)

Here Jesus had approached a fig tree in order to eat from it. Upon finding no figs but only leaves, he made this statement, basically cursing the tree.

Since Jesus was communicating directly to the tree, we know that Jesus accepted that the tree was alive, and contained an individual who could be communicated to.

It also means the tree had the capacity to control its production of figs. In this case, we see that Jesus understood the tree was not producing figs out of choice. He therefore chastised the tree.

We must accept this conclusion unless we want to propose that Jesus was irrational or crazy. Would he have been speaking to someone who was not there, and speaking as if the tree had the choice to produce figs?

But since Jesus was addressing the tree directly, and not happy the tree did not produce figs, we know Jesus accepted that the tree contained a living spirit-person or living soul.

In fact, every living organism in the physical world is inhabited by and operated by a unique spiritual individual. The particular physical body we occupy reflects a combination of our state of consciousness and our past activities. This is called "reaping what we sow."

Subsequently, each living being is at a particular state of spiritual evolution. After each physical body dies, the spiritual individual will move on according to its consciousness and past activities.

The human form of life is the highest form on this planet. It is the form from which the spirit-person can utilize to grow out of our self-centered consciousness and return and back home to God after the death of this body - assuming there is the desire, and assuming we have re-developed our relationship with God. Should the spiritual individual decide not to return to God, we may be condemned to a hellish existence within the lower forms of life - such as the body of a fig tree. Or even a dog or a cat.

Despite many books of scripture being banned and burned in the centuries after Jesus, and the remaining books that were used to form the Old and New Testaments being purged of verses or translations that contradicted the Roman version of Christianity (by scribes appointed by the political councils of bishops and the Roman government), there are still a few verses left in the Bible that confirm the fact that Jesus indeed taught the transmigration of the spirit-person (or soul) - in addition to the implication of Jesus' discussion with the fig tree here:

For example, we find that Jesus’ disciples asked him this question about a blind man they came upon:

"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:1)

Let’s consider the question carefully. Why did Jesus’ disciples ask this question? First we should consider that multiple disciples asked this question and not just one ‘rogue’ disciple. This means that it was a question that arose from an understanding between Jesus and his disciples from Jesus’ teachings. In other words, it was assumed that before the man was born, he had the ability to sin. In other to have the ability to sin, the man must have had a previous physical body. Why? Because as Jesus taught previously, sinning was an action brought upon by the flesh. In other words, the person must have had a prior physical body in order to have sinned before he was born.

Note also that Jesus did not ridicule or criticize this question. He took it in stride. He did not say, “what a preposterous question.” What he said was:

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me.” (John 9:2)

Because Jesus accepted that the man could have sinned, he admitted that the man must have lived prior to his being born into that body. While he is saying that the activities of his previous life did not cause his blindness, Jesus is acknowledging that they could have.  Jesus in fact is saying that there was another purpose to his blindness other than as a consequence of his previous activities—previous to being born blind.

We also see that Jesus accepted the fact that a demoniac spirit-person could occupy (or possess) the body of another. Jesus drove out several demons who possessed the bodies of others. Jesus even had a discussion with a couple of demoniac spirit-persons who were occupying the bodies of two men. At the demons' request, Jesus ordered them to transmigrate from the bodies of the two possessed men into the bodies of pigs (Matt. 8:31-32). 

This teaching of transmigration was actually taught in the early Christian church. We find many remnants of this teaching among the early fathers of the Christian Church, including Origen Adamantius, St. Clement, Plotinus, and St. Augustine. Origen, for example, was considered the Church’s first great theologian. He was approved by the Pope and Bishop Demetrius of Alexandra. He was by far one of the most productive and prolific teachers of the second and third centuries. He was so respected for his knowledge and interpretations of scripture that he was at one time given eight scribes to write his dictations. He had thousands of students, and his school was by far the largest Christian school in Alexandria. While much of Origen's writings were later destroyed, we still find clear evidence in remnants of his statements that he supported transmigration:
"Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons  is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions? It is probable, therefore, that this soul also, which conferred more benefit by its former residence in the flesh than that of many men (to avoid prejudice, I do not say "all"), stood in need of a body not only superior to others, but invested with all excellent qualities." (Against Celsus, I.32)
Following the Synods of Nicene (325 AD and later) and the subsequent "takeover" of Christian teachings by Constantine and the Roman empire (as their interpretation of Christianity became the "official" religion of the Romans, and the Romans eliminated any teaching that contradicted their interpretation), the Roman-ruled Church eventually banned Origen's teachings, and his some 6,000 writings - once revered by many devoted Christians - were destroyed.

We also find there is scientific evidence for transmigration. A number of scientific studies by respected medical researchers over the past four decades in Clinical Death and Near Death Experiences (NDE) has shown that the living individual separates from the body at the time of death. Tens of thousands of patients have confirmed that the living being leaves and rises above the body at the time of death, and is able to observe activities in the hospital that could have otherwise not been seen while the patient's body lay unconscious on the bed. The accuracy of these out of body NDEs has been verified thousands of times by cases studied by teams of researchers led by Raymond Moody, M.D., Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., Michael Sabom, M.D. and Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. Each of these doctors and researchers led their own studies that independently confirmed the out of body NDE experience.

The reality that we can take on another body after death has been scientifically confirmed by a vast amount of psychological research performed over the past twenty years by eminent scientists. A procedure called past-life regression, was in part developed by Dr. Ian Stevenson, a medical doctor and professor of research at the University of Virginia, Department of Psychiatric Medicine has illustrated that a child can often recall their previous lifetime with exquisite detail.

Dr. Sevenson's research documented hundreds of subjects who detailed previous lifetimes as historical persons, describing events with a clarity and experience only possible from having lived personally in that situation. Dr. Stevenson and other scientists meticulously corroborated the accuracy of these details, and gradually developed a mountain of practical evidence for the transmigration of the self.

Though undoubtedly controversial, the research has been thoroughly peer-reviewed and corroborated. Over thirty scientific books and hundreds of scientific papers have been written to document studies by hypnotherapists, many of whom are M.D.s and/or licensed psychiatrists. Dr. Stevenson’s research spanned over thirty-seven years, and documented hundreds of cases of previous life recognition by children who remembered their past lives. His corroborated research indicated that past life recollection fades by about age seven. Before that age, children will often speak spontaneously about their previous lives as historical individuals, recalling historical details decades old and otherwise unknowable. Dr. Stevenson and his various associates meticulously documented these recollections along with the confirmations of their historical accuracy. Dr. Stevenson wrote several books on the subject, presenting the evidence in a clinically rigorous and scientific manner (Stevenson 1997; Tucker 2005).

A number of other scientists have confirmed Dr. Stevenson's work, by regressing patients into verifiable past lives using hypnosis, and subsequently confirming the accuracy of the past life. These doctors have included Dr. Helen Wambach (1978), Dr. Morris Netheron (1978), Dr. Edit Fiore (1978), Dr. Bruce Goldberg (1982), Dr. Joel Whitton (1986), Dr. Brian Weiss (1988), Dr. Christopher Bache (1994), Dr. Winafred Lucas (1993), Dr. Marge Rieder (1995; 1999) along with a number of others.

Eventually, the Church banned all discussion of the soul’s transmigration. Why? Because this teaching threatened the exclusivity and power of the Church. It gave the living being a possible second chance if we fail in this lifetime to perfect our relationship with God. It also gave the living being freedom of choice. The emperors that sought to control the Church, and those who ruled the Church, saw this teaching as undermining the Church’s power. They didn't like freedom of choice. In other words, the Church utilized fear as its best recruiting tactic.

Furthermore, transmigration illustrates that God is fair. Many ask the Christian church why, if God is so loving, are people born into suffering? Why are children born with AIDS or into starvation? The answer is that the individual born into that body has some specific lessons to learn, based on their prior activities and consciousness. The physical body is simply a vehicle for learning. It is like an automobile. The driver can get out of the car when it breaks down. While the car might not run well, or might break down, the driver is unaffected (outside of the driver's learning experience). The driver can simply open the car door and walk away. In the same way, the bodies we wear are temporary vehicles. They are not us. We get a particular type of physical body to operate according to our consciousness and our past behavior. The body is only temporary. It decomposes after we leave it.

Each body is designed to impart a collection of lessons upon the spiritual individual operating it. These lessons are determined by what we need to learn. It might be compared to a computer software program that creates a virtual identity for the operator so the operator can go through the learning program. This "machinery" of the physical world is perfect. And it is fair. The body we get is determined by our past activities and consciousness.

The body also allows us to forget God. This takes place as we mistakenly identify with our temporary physical body. We are confusing ourselves - an eternal spiritual child of God - with a temporary vehicle or vessel: the physical body.

This is why Paul, reflecting upon the prevailing teachings of Jesus, stated:
"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." (1 Cor 15:50)
and
"Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.... So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." (2 Cor 5:6 and 5:9) 


 (For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)